A recent study showed that a patient admitted to one of the nations top rated hospital emergency rooms has a 40% lower death rate than those admitted to the lower rated hospitals. The study used a survey in the years 2008-2010 of medicare patients and was undertaken by HealthGrades, a Denver, Colorado–based provider of information about physicians and hospitals.
263 of the nation's 4783 short-term acute care hospitals were chosen among the top 5% in providing emergency care. These facilities received Excellence Awards from HealthGrades based on the number of in-hospital deaths among patients admitted through the emergency room. A full listing of these hospitals, by city, can be found online at HealthGrades.com.
I was sad to see that in my state of Oregon, the only hospital rated as excellent was the Rouge Valley Medical Center. However, I was not surprised due to the horrible stories I have heard from many patients regarding their hospital care at various Oregon hospitals.
HealthGrades said, "If all hospitals performed at the level of the hospitals rated as "Excellence hospitals" from 2008 through 2010, an additional 170,856 people could have potentially survived their emergency hospitalization."
More than 123.8 million people in the United States will make an emergency room visit, and 13% will end up being admitted to the hospital, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The HealthGrades report included only those patients admitted to the hospital from the ED for further medical treatment, representing the full continuum of a patient's care.
The top 10 cities with the lowest risk-adjusted mortality for patients admitted through the emergency room are Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Phoenix–Prescott; Cincinnati; West Palm Beach, Florida; Baltimore; Traverse City, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio; Cleveland; Fargo, North Dakota; and Detroit.
To be included in the HealthGrades analysis, hospitals must have met minimum thresholds in terms of patient volume, quality ratings, and the range of services provided. The hospital ratings are independently created; no hospital can opt in or opt out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated. Details about the survey's methodology can be found at HealthGrades.com.